Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Ex-Paras Say Peace Process Over, but Divisions

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #1125/01 3412248
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 072248Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1298
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7304
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 8499
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ DEC LIMA 4552
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 9811
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5211
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3793
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 011125

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2016
TAGS: KJUS PGOV PINR PREL PTER CO
SUBJECT: EX-PARAS SAY PEACE PROCESS OVER, BUT DIVISIONS
APPEAR IN RANKS; GOC REMAINS FIRM ON JUSTICE PHASE


Classified By: Political Counselor John S. Creamer.
Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d)

-------
Summary
-------

1. (C) On December 6, a spokesman for 59 ex-paramilitary
leaders said the peace process with the GOC was over, in
response to the GOC's alleged failure to comply with its
peace process commitments. Still, the GOC insisted the
process was on track. Sergio Caramagna, Director of the
Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS),
told us on December 7 the ex-paras were divided into two
groups, with a more moderate group committed to work with the
GOC. The ex-paras have not threatened violence, and national
police officials told us they doubt the ex-paras have the
capacity to engage in large-scale disturbances. End summary.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

--------------------------------------------
Paramilitaries Announce End of Peace Process
--------------------------------------------

2. (C) Spokesman Ivan Roberto Duque (AKA "Ernesto Baez")
announced on December 6 that 59 ex-paramilitary leaders had
called off the peace process in response to the GOC's alleged
failure to comply with commitments made during GOC-AUC
negotiations. The immediate trigger for the para
announcement was President Uribe's order to transfer the 59
from "La Ceja" detention center to the Itagui
maximum-security prison in Antioquia Department on December
1. Uribe said his decision reflected concerns that the paras
were planning to escape from the facility, as well as reports
that they had ordered murders from La Ceja. The
paramilitaries' announcement followed Peace Commissioner Luis
Carlos Restrepo's December 6 visit to Itagui to confirm the
GOC's continued commitment to the peace process. Instead,
Restrepo was greeted by a tense atmosphere and was only able
to speak for five minutes as the paramilitaries left the room
one by one.

3. (C) After the meeting, Baez said the only two
interlocutors the AUC would recognize were an opposition
party, the Polo Democratico, and Congress's Chamber of
Representatives Peace Commission. Polo Democratico Senator
Gustavo Petro said he did not consider such a role to be
appropriate for the Polo, and urged the paras to tell the
truth to judicial authorities. Still, if the GOC thought it
necessary for the Polo to "play that role," the Party would
do so. Meanwhile, the Chamber of Representatives Peace
Commission will visit the paramilitary leaders in Itagui on
December 11.

4. (C) MAPP/OAS Director Sergio Caramagna, who attended
Restrepo's meeting with the paras, told us on December 7 that
the peace process was in critical condition, but he hoped it
could still be saved. Caramagna said the paras were divided
into two groups, with a hard-line group led by Baez calling
for an end to talks and a more moderate group trying to
preserve the process. The second group had approached
Caramagna to find a common ground to overcome the crisis. He
said the Church and Antioquia's Peace Facilitator Commission
could play important roles in the effort to end the impasse.


------------------------------------
GOC Responds with More Determination
------------------------------------

5. (C) Restrepo and Minister of Interior and Justice Carlos
Holguin publicly reiterated the GOC's commitment to the para
process on December 7, but President Uribe warned the former
AUC leaders that whomever takes up arms again would be
extradited. The President's statement responded to rumors
that the former leaders and supporters would resort to
violence. Uribe said the first phase of the peace process
was over; now it was time apply the Justice and Peace Law

(JPL). He called for the suspension of presidential Decree
2898, which provided a six-month timetable (until February
17th, 2007) for the ex-paras to ratify their intention to
participate under the JPL. By suspending the ratification
requirement, Uribe hoped to remove a legal obstacle to the
taking of para confessions (version libres) by the Fiscalia
under the JPL.

------------------------
Use of Truth or Violence
------------------------

7. (C) Media reports stated the paras have been using the
threat of telling the truth about all of their sponsors and
collaborators, but have refrained, at least publicly, from
calling for violence. The GOC has repeatedly encouraged the
former AUC leaders to tell the truth, and in the meeting in
Itagui, Caramagna told us Restrepo called on them to do so.
National Police Intelligence analysts said the former leaders
no longer have organized military structures big enough to
become a significant threat, but could encourage minor
disturbances, such as roadblocks and other smaller
demonstrations.
DRUCKER

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.